Questions Brides Ask Wedding Photographers Prior to Booking
Looking for your Wedding photogrpaher can be a hard job. Same for your Videogrpaher! Your looking at hiring a Wedding Photographer for your big day, and there is no doubt you have seen at least one of the articles that has a a list to ask your prospective Photographer. So, to help you out, and make our consultation more enjoyable, I took the list from “The Knot”, and answered them for you!
What style(s) do you specialize in?
I shoot a hybrid of traditional and contemporary styles. This really is based on the theme of your wedding, and what your vision is.
Will the photos be retouched and color balanced? Is that done before I see the proofs?
Yes, my philosophy is to shoot the best shot possible, which means knowing your gear and its limits inside & out, using quality equipment that doesn’t fail in the heat of the moment. This yields images from the camera that requires minimal processing afterwards, which is done before presenting proofs and final images.
How many weddings have you shot, and how many do you do in a year? Also, what’s your favorite part of a wedding day?
I have been shooting Weddings since 2006. I have actually lost count, but I usually book an average of 4 per year. While this may seem low, I am not shooting weddings from a perspective of “desperation” to meet a financial bottom line. I enjoy meeting my couples for the first time, and getting to spend a bit of time getting to know each other, making sure that we are a good fit, and are mutually comfortable with each other.
My favorite part would be the emotional expressions. When vows are being spoken, the subtle trembles of the face, the heaving of the chest, the waning strength holding back the tears of joy. I have a daughter, and I know the connection between a father and daughter. There is juxtaposition for fathers as their roles change; it’s truly a very special blend of sadness and joy. Where a stern face, and square shoulders melt away. (And, yes, I got a bit teary eyed writing this)
Do you shoot both digital and film?
I got into photography in 1991 shooting film. This provided a foundation for the way I shoot today, which is all digital. Digital allows me the flexibility to provide a selection of color, Black & white, and if requested, I can provide images with a film ambiance.
What exactly is included in your packages?
While I have packages, which list what is included, I like to build custom packages to suit my client’s actual needs and budgets. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to discuss your specific needs!
How many hours of coverage do we get? What is the charge for overtime?
I specify the total hours of actual day coverage in my contract; I typically arrive at least an hour prior to the start time. I don’t charge for reasonable overtime, chances are your day is going to be crazy, and the last thing you need someone tapping their wrist.
What is the deposit and total fee?
Deposits are 33%, and are non-refundable. Total payments are due 5 days prior to your date, unless you’re paying by personal check, which needs to be cleared 5 days prior to your date. Any paid amount minus the 33% deposit is refundable prior to 30 days of the event in the event of cancellation.
Will you be my actual photographer, or will it be one of your associates?
I will be shooting your wedding. I think brokering wedding to associates is a poor business practice.
What will you wear?
Something that goes with the theme and vibe of your wedding, that is subtle. I prefer to blend in, so I can work without drawing attention to myself.
Do you have backup photographers who will shoot the wedding if you’re sick?
Yes, I am active in the photography community, and work directly with other photographers who shoot in the same style and philosophy, and in the odd event I couldn’t shoot your wedding, I would coordinate the transition to one of my colleagues who bets suits your needs & style.
Will there be a second shooter or any assistants? Is there an additional fee for each (if applicable)?
I typically shot solo, but if the size of a wedding requires additional staffing, I would utilize the same pool of skilled talent to support me. The additional cost would be factored into the pricing of your package.
How long after the wedding do we get to see the photos?
I utilize a continuous work flow, which means I get to work on getting your images ready to deliver as quickly as possible. I have delivered finished proofs to clients in under 2 hours, but typical 1-2 days is the normal. A 4-6 week wait time would be acceptable if your wedding was being shot with all film, but we’re shooting digital, so the excessive wait time is a real buzz kill in my opinion.
How do you coordinate with my videographer? How do you envision working together?
I give them a call, and cut the ice with them, discuss what they need, and what I need. How we communicate during your wedding day, and what we each need to be fully successful. Chances are we will have recommended each other, so we already have a relationship, which is just easy!
How many weddings do you do a weekend?
I only do one wedding a weekend. From the time I leave for your wedding, until I deliver proofs, your Wedding is my focus.
Have you ever shot at my venue(s) before?
If I haven’t shot at your venue, I contact the venue and perform a site visit. I scope out all the great spots, and what limitation the venue may have.
Will you follow a shot list? Or do you prefer to have free reign to capture the festivities how you see fit?
Both, however a shot list does not guarantee the shot, because people are not always predictable, or want to participate. I am pretty good at tactfully getting people to play well.
What type of paper will you use for the prints and album?
I only offer products that are durable and will last. I go to trade show, and get hands on with their products. I buy samples, and torture tests them, Why? Because one day you may have kids! I raised two, and I have come home to things that just got broke or damaged on “their own”.
What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or for publication? Do you own the copyright to the photos?
Textbook, the photographer owns the copyright, and licenses their work to clients. My clients are granted a copyright release/license for non-commercial use (Publication is a commercial use). You are free to share the images on social media, edit them with Instagram filters. I am not going to be keeping tabs on what you do with them. It is understandable that there are organization that steal work for commercial gain, and if I we discover this misuse, we can deal with the situation easier.
Do you bring your own lighting?
Yes, and it is all portable & self-powered. I believe in well-lit images, and color consistency which reduces my time trying to correct color casting, and het your proofs in front of you quicker. Many venues do not consider the quality of light, and may use a mix of different bulb types, and color which create a very garish color cast which is painfully frustrating and difficult to color correct.
I grew up just north of San Francisco, in the Napa Valley. I enjoyed a childhood of many things from building car engines, to being active in Theater. After completing high school, I joined the Navy in 1989, to go see the world. Growing up, we traveled a lot, and I always had my Kodak Instamatic 110 handy. To keep in that spirit, I had a compact 35mm camera, until 1990. The Christmas prior to deploying to the Pacific during Desert Storm, I got a full Canon Rebel 35mm kit, which I still have and occasionally use. I left the service on 1993, to pursue not only different career paths, but to become a husband that would never be subject to military deployments. I grew up in a military family, and being deployed with a wife & children was not a path I wanted in my life.
In 1994, I relocated to the Pacific Northwest, because Job opportunities were scarce in the San Diego area at that time. I worked in the Seattle Metro for just over a year, until I entered Civil Service, as an apprentice welder. My curiosity and ability with technical systems has allowed me to move into a variety of positions, including Process Development & Improvement and Automated industrial Supply Chain Management. I am currently a Para-Manager, supporting a management team of over 600 employees. During these year, I also had a curiosity in Naturopathy and Yoga, having been certified as an instructor for 2 years (2001-2012)
Today, I reside in Poulsbo, with my 2nd wife, who provides Small Business Services. I am on the sunset of raising two great children, to which I am looking forward to seeing my parenting role continue to transition to a mentoring role, as they explore adulthood.
Oddly enough my creative hobbies & interest have directly translated to the service I offer my clients. Besides those, I I have a love for the outdoors, which include traveling by motorcycle, and an interest in the “over landing” experience. And if there is a good micro-brewery around, I am usually game to sample their goods!